Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries is Formula E world champion

Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries is Formula E world champion

In its first season as an official FIA World Championship, Mercedes-EQ driver Nyck de Vries won the title. The Stuttgart manufacturer also became world champion in the team classification at the finale in Berlin, but the future of the Mercedes works team is probably uncertain.

Before the races on the final weekend in Berlin, de Vries had the best starting position as the leader in the championship. In mathematical terms, more than half of the driver field still had a chance of winning the world championship, while in practical terms more than five drivers had serious hopes of becoming the first driver ever to call themselves Formula E world champions.

Saturday's race on the traditional layout of the Formula E circuit on the apron of Tempelhof Airport, however, was not the early championship win de Vries had hoped for. In a competitive race, the Dutchman remained without points, while rivals Edoardo Mortara (Rokit Venturi Racing) and Mitch Evans (Jaguar) finished second and third on the podium to score important points.

Saturday's race win went to former champion and Audi factory driver Lucas di Grassi - with a margin of less than two tenths of a second over Mortara. For Team Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler, it was the 14th and last victory in Formula E - as is well known, the Ingolstadt-based company is withdrawing from the electric racing series after this season. It was the third victory by an Audi driver in Berlin after 2018 and 2019.

Although de Vries continued to lead the championship going into Sunday's decisive race on the reverse layout of the track, Jaguar driver Evans had the best cards due to his podium finish on Saturday and his good starting position - but only until the start: due to a technical problem, Evans' Jaguar came to a standstill on the start and finish straight. Some drivers were still able to avoid the obstacle, but not fellow favourite Mortara of all people - after a violent collision, both drivers retired. The race was briefly interrupted.

On the first lap after the restart, there was another championship-deciding incident: BMW driver and London winner Jake Dennis retired after contact with the wall. A little later, Saturday's winner di Grassi pushed last year's champion Felix Antonio da Costa in the DS Techeetah into the wall. For da Costa, the accident meant retirement, for the Audi driver, the subsequent drive-through penalty was the end of championship hopes.

In another hard-fought race, Mortara's teammate Norman Nato took victory ahead of Oliver Rowland in the Nissan and Stoffel Vandoorne in the Mercedes. The latter's teammate de Vries finished eighth and was thus the only one of the top seven to score points in the championship standings - making him the world champion with 99 points in 15 races. Before the final weekend and the two races in London, Vries was only in tenth place in the drivers' standings - the two second places in London were decisive in the end, because even without the points from the final race of the season the Dutchman would have remained at the top. Mortara (92 points) finished second ahead of BMW driver Jake Dennis (91 points). He was followed by Evans (90), Envision Virgin driver Robin Frijns (89), Jaguar driver Sam Bird (87) and Lucas di Grassi (87) - it was very close right to the end.